Govt set to introduce single curriculum in primary classes

Published December 15, 2020
he Single National Curriculum (SNC), which generated a national debate earlier in the year, is all set to be implemented in the coming academic session.— File
he Single National Curriculum (SNC), which generated a national debate earlier in the year, is all set to be implemented in the coming academic session.— File

ISLAMABAD: The Single National Curriculum (SNC), which generated a national debate earlier in the year, is all set to be implemented in the coming academic session and the government has ordered the publication of textbooks for the purpose.

“The SNC has been prepared and now provincial governments have been requested to get the books published as per their requirements,” Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood told Dawn on Monday. He said new books based on SNC would be introduced at the start of the new academic session.

The government intends to execute the plan in phases. The syllabus will be introduced at the primary level (prep to class five) during the 2021 session and at the secondary level (classes six to eight) in 2022. The final stage will see introduction of the new syllabus in classes nine to 12.

Shafqat says provinces have been urged to get the books published

The federal education ministry and the National Curriculum Council (NCC) are confident about implementation of the Single National Curriculum (SNC) in primary classes with the commencement of the coming academic session.

The provincial governments have been requested to start publication of books in the light of the new curriculum.

But Sindh has already expressed its reservations. “We think Sindh has already done a lot of work in developing curriculum and we have updated our curriculum faster than other provinces. We are not going to adopt the SNC.

“But we will look into the matter again before taking a final decision,” said Saeed Ghani, the provincial education minister.

The federal government, however, is determined to go ahead with its plan regardless of objections.

Education Minister Shafqat Meh­mood described the introduction of a unified curriculum across the country in all educational institu­tions as a “revolutionary step”.

“Now all children will have equal opportunities to excel regardless of their parents’ socio-economic stature.

“The purpose of SNC is to provide equal opportunities and to end class-based educational system,” he said.

The minister said the government was considering a proposal to put back the start of the new academic session from April to August due to Covid-19. “But whether the session starts in April or August, we are ready to introduce SNC.”

Since the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and its allies are in power at the Centre and in three provinces — Punjab, KP and Balochistan — officials of the education ministry believe there will be no hiccups in executing the single curriculum plan across the country, except in Sindh.

Centre to address Sindh’s reservations Shafqat Mehmood said: “The Sindh government has shown some reservations. Recently I met the provincial education minister in an attempt to remove their concerns. We will hold more meetings as I want to take everyone on board before launching this landmark initiative.”

Since education is a provincial subject, the federal ministry always takes decision after taking provinces on board.

Speaking to Dawn, NCC head Rafiq Tahir said: “After finalising SNC, we have sent it to the provinces for publishing of books.”

The NCC chief said science and mathematics would be taught in English and all other books would be published in Urdu. “Teachers will be free to use Urdu and regional languages as medium of instruction. The SNC complies with interna­tional standards. Even Cambridge has endorsed it,” Mr Tahir claimed.

According to an official of the ministry of education, Sindh has suggested including a chapter on Nobel Prize-winning activist Malala Yousafzai and Iqbal Masih. Iqbal was a Pakistani child who was sold into slavery as a carpet weaver when he was four years old. He escaped from his bondage at 10 and became a powerful voice against child exploi­tation. He was killed at the age of 13.

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2020

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